My 15 Favorite Free SEO Tools

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February 13, 2014

I’ve said it before, but I love me a good free tool. Below is a list of my fifteen favorite freebies for doing SEO. While there’s a ton of tools out there, this article means to highlight the essentials.  It’s nice to have a huge arsenal, but it can be more powerful to wield a few powerful weapons expertly.

15. GTmetrix

Having a tool to examine page speed and diagnose opportunities for improvement  is now an essential part of the SEO toolkit. This is because anything that impacts user-experience impacts SEO, and site speed is a big deal for UX. Many page-speed tools exist; I’ve found GTmetrix reliable and a good balance between thorough and user-friendly.



14. SEO-browser


SEO-Browser does one simple thing: it takes a web-page and shows you what it looks like to a search engine, without all the graphics and without anything the search engine can’t digest.

This is a great shortcut for those who don’t want to go through the technical details of search engine accessibility requirements like alt text, flash, Ajax, blah, blah, blah. It’s also great for double-checking technical analysis and for taking a step back from technical details to get a birds-eye view.


13. Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine is the Internet’s most complete historical archive, and lets you see what a website used to look like back in the day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used it for detective work  to crack client cases of missing traffic. If the numbers for a site have changed and something about that site has changed  but you don’t have a site back-up available – the Wayback Machine has your back.


Plus, it’s just fun to see how much better your site looks since the Geocities days.


12. Xenu Link Sleuth

Don’t be fooled by the unassuming web-site. Xenu is a pretty powerful website crawler that crawls all the links on your site and reports on URL metrics like HTTP status code, content type, page size and more. And it’s really good at finding broken links. I actually no longer use it because we use a paid crawler, but Xenu is probably your best bet for a hassle-free, dollar-free crawl of a site that has more than a few hundred URLs.



11. Web Developer Toolbar

web developer toolbar
The Web Developer Toolbar has become much relied-upon during the technical phase of our audits. Below are 3 articles explaining how to use all the goodies:


10. Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO’s flagship product is a powerful link analysis tool that crawls the entire web, logs billions of backlinks, and makes the link data available to you. You can get full access for any site you can verify control of (via Meta tag or Google Webmaster Tools ownership verification), enabling you to see every link to your site Majestic knows about ( a lot).

It’s by far the #1 free tool to examine your link profile, and I prefer it over paid tools for some tasks due to it’s freshness and size of database. Even for competitor sites you can’t verify, it offers some useful data.


9. SEO Book SEO Toolbar


This  browser toolbar puts a bunch of information about the page you’re viewing right at your fingertips. This includes:

  • link data from Majestic SEO, Moz, Ahrefs, and more.
  • traffic data from Compete, SEM Rush, Alexa, and more.
  • on-page keyword optimization data including usage of keywords, header tags and more.

My only issue is that this is a Firefox-only toolbar.


8. SEO Quake

SEO Quake

SEO Quake is a bit similar to the SEO Book Toolbar, and while not very pretty, is available on multiple browsers, including Chrome. SEO Quake shows data on traffic, links, social shares, on-page keyword optimization and more. The SEO Quake website has lot’s of helpful tips on what to do with all this data.


7. Google Trends

Google Trends

Marketers who know where the puck is heading tend to win more. Google Trends shows changes in search query volume for specific queries. They also have trend data on topics now in beta.

For marketers, especially in volatile industries like technology and fashion, it’s critical to at least keep up with the market. And, if you can master online trends analysis and get a step ahead of the competition, the results can be quite profitable indeed. For search marketers, it makes good sense to analyze changes in search query behavior. Even everyday writers can knock an article out of the park if they cover a soon-to-be high interest topic before everyone else gets to it. 

Bottom line: while often overlooked, Trends is an extremely powerful tool in the right hands. Below are some resources with Trends tips:


6. Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a website crawler designed specifically for SEO. Within mere minutes, you’ll get critical data on every URL. Best to just download it and take it for a spin. Once you see all that data, you’ll have questions, but they have a good user guide. The free version has most of the functionality, but only can crawl 500 URLs at a time.


5. Google Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner

The tool formerly known as Adwords Keyword Tool, Google’s Keyword Planner still let’s you pull monthly Google search query volume estimates for dozens of keywords in seconds. I can never understate the importance of knowing what people search for.


4. Bing Webmaster Tools


Bing Webmaster Tools (aka BWT) remains extremely overlooked. It’s great for keeping an eye on how Bing (which powers Yahoo) is treating your site and also enables you to have some control in the matter. But it offers benefits beyond Bing, like insight into crawling, indexation, on-page keyword optimization, and other elements that can impact your performance in Google. I wrote an article on some ways (like the nifty Keyword Research Tool) to use BWT a while back. BWT also has a great help section.


3. Moz


SERP_Overlay Moz is a suite of user-friendly inbound marketing tools. Below are my favorite free Moz tools:

  • Open Site Explorer is a link crawler like Majestic SEO known for very helpful metrics approximating link equity.
  • Followerwonk shows data on Twitter.
  • GetListed let’s you see the state of a company’s local citations and is to go-to for starting a local SEO campaign.
  • Mozbar is a browser toolbar that lets you quickly get at Moz’s key features for the page you’re on.
  • The SERP Overlay (seen on the right) shows OSE metrics on individual search results.


2. Google Webmaster Tools


Like BWT, GWT helps you keep monitor and configure how Google is treating your site. That’s a pretty big deal. I wrote a bit on GWT before. Simon Hesltine wrote an excellent article on getting started with GWT and using some of the most important features. More articles on GWT Tips are below:


1. Google Analytics

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’ve used Google Analytics. I think we may have written about it once or twice.

For me, the most valuable SEO data is that which helps you understand your visitors  and how they interact with your site.  No tool I’ve used – paid or free – delivers that data like  Google Analytics, and none of the tools I mentioned does a better job on the data closest to the metric that matters most – the bottom line.

Thus, GA is the tool I depend on the most.


Honorable Mentions


Looks like I can’t count; here’s a few more free cool tools I use:

  • BuiltWith is a lightweight, user-friendly Chrome plugin that will tell what technology a site uses (like cms, server, hosting, analytics, and more).
  • Firebug is a Firefox extension for web dev and technical SEO to help you inspect elements of code, code mockups live into the browser, and more.
  • Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, and WebPagetest are all decent alternatives to GTmetrix that diagnose page speed.
  • UberSuggest lets you enter in a keyword and then quickly spits out a ton of great long-tail keywords.
  • Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool is a simple tool I use often to see what my Meta descriptions and title tags would look like in the SERPs (i.e. if they would get truncated).
  • Hootsuite is one of many platforms for managing and scheduling social media posts. Such a platform is essential for social media management.
  • CopyScape let’s you enter a URL and learn if there is duplicate content elsewhere on the web.
  • SEMrush shows data on paid and organic traffic and keywords. Accessible through the SEObook and SEOQuake Toolbars.
  • SpyFu, like SEMrush shows some data on paid and organic keywords and traffic.


These aren’t “SEO” per say, but I love them so:

  • Jing is my go-to screen capture tool and is what I used for the screenshots in this post and every post.
  • Notepad++ is a lightweight text editor on steroids and two-time winner of the SourceForge Community Choice Award for Best Developer Tool.
  • Boomerang for Gmail helps me with e-mail management, reminders, client follow-ups, and scheduling outreach emails.
  • Dropbox helps store and backup all the gigabytes I make and makes them easy to share.
  • Excel is every search marketers friend. Wicked Excel skills are a search marketing superpower.





No Mas. I’m tapping out. But below you’ll find links to crazy amounts of more free tools:

Reid Bandremer is a Senior Search Project Manager. His background before joining LunaMetrics in 2011 includes eCommerce marketing and a pair of business degrees. He is a rabid fan of data, music, questions, and holistic ROI-driven search marketing strategy. Strengths include SEO metrics, migrations, keyword and search behavior analysis, content architecture, and burning the midnight oil.

  • Better Graph

    SEO-browser is good one, now we do not need to check by site:, after google indexing. There is 2 new tool for me SEO-browser and GTmetrix. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kevin

    You obviously use seo-browser a lot – it’s not been free for quite some time!

    • Reid Bandremer


      Actually, it’s still free, but I know why you think it isn’t — I thought the same!

      If you put in a URL and just hit enter, it will now take you to the “advanced” mode, and this is now no longer free.

      BUT, if you it click “simple”, then you can get the free version. It’s still super useful. Enjoy.

  • Jeff Nelson

    Great article. Thanks for mentioning Jeff

  • Danielle

    Another great free tool that does about the same thing as is And it’s completely free.

    Also, a good replacer (and lighter) for web developer extension is pendule extension.

    • Reid Bandremer

      Thanks Danielle,

      I checked out both tools. is very similar to seo-browser: I do like that it displays images – does not do that.

      I’ve been using both and together quite a bit lately – I like getting different looks

  • http://noway Rajdip

    I am from India & want to start an internet marketing firm to provide seo,sem & smm etc.
    your article has given me inspiration & a lot of insights. I hope I can implement this in my work.

    Thank you.

  • Sabih

    Quite handy tools that you mentioned in here Reid. Google’s Keyword Planner and trends are most common and popular. Besides that Moz is also one pro thing.
    I found the-escape’s pageanalyzer quite useful too although it is not included in this list.

  • Max

    For speed optimization I recommend

  • John Garrett

    Do you have any seo techniques that you don’t have to be seo saavy other than submitting to google or bing search engines?

  • Azenith Lawas

    Yours and Anne Cushing’s lists are insanely beautiful.

    • Reid Bandremer

      Thanks Azenith. Although I don’t think this is comparable to Annies list personally – her’s is truly comprehensive; this is just a nice starting point.

  • Soumya

    Screaming Frog is really handy but my best SEO tool would be Yoast and SEOPressor. Apart from these I use GW, GA, Adwords Keyword Planner. Heard about GTMetrix but never used but I guess I have to explore that as I am seeing so many reputed bloggers and Optimizers are recommending it. Thanks for sharing this list of resources.

    • Reid Bandremer


      I agree that Yoast is a must-have if you are a WordPress user.

      Never used SEOPressor; I find their site a turn-off in terms of rhetoric (and SEO), but I am slightly intrigued. What are some advantages or disadvantages over Yoast? Have you ever used the plugins together on the same site without ill impact (seems unlikely, but I’m always interested in plugins that have the option to be very “compatible”.

  • Artem

    Here is another new FREE keyword research tool that generates over 750 long-tail keywords and works really fast: It supports 194 Google domains and 83 languages. Give it a try!

    • Reid Bandremer

      Thanks Artem,

      I’m a habitual UberSuggest user (which is very similar), but I will say that when I tried your suggest-based keyword-research tool out today, I really liked the speed. I also like that you bolded the terms that were not in the seed query. I’ll be playing with it more in the days to come.

  • Reid Bandremer

    Writer note: Got a free tool to share?
    I’ve gotten a few responses to this article informing me of new tools. Some are weak, but the few interesting new tools I’ve learned about make it all worth it.

    If you have a *FREE* tool that does something different or better than what I’ve listed, please comment. Cool tools will get replies; awesome tools make make the cut if I ever update this.

  • James and are two great (free) tools that allow us to do a lot of our SEO for clients sites. Between the two tools you cover a lot of different aspects of both on-page and off-page SEO.

  • Seb Brocher

    Great article, Reid, thanks! We just released a free tool called Page Watch so figured I’d chime in:

    It lets you keep an eye on multiple pages and monitor visual, content, and performance (PageSpeed) changes. If you haven’t yet, check out SiteCondor as well – we’ve got a free trial available.

    Thanks again for a great post!

  • désert 4×4 maroc

    exelent post, i want add another tool :

    • Reid Bandremer

      I listed SEMRush – it’s worth knowing about. I use it when I want info on a site that I don’t have Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools access to.

  • Umesh Gehlot

    SEO Browser is good tool bar,Good article.

  • Sanjay

    I would recommend

    • Reid Bandremer

      Sanjay, this article is about free tools. Brightedge is not free. And it’s quite expensive (and overpriced imo). Does Brightedge offer any free tools I’m unaware of?

  • Rand Roberthson

    You should check this one It’s easy and free to use tool where you can make google searches on 180 different languages and countries. Great for local SEO

  • simon

    Great list thank you. I was using Pingdom to test loading speed but found its not really that reliable. GMetrix looks like a great tool so I’m glad I found your article.

  • John

    Thanks for the list,
    I’m using also SimilarWeb for my SEO Strategy

  • Amit

    Multiple Url Opener, Strong SEO tool

  • yi

    thanks for the list


    you can try this tool: free version of Moz’s SEO tool: URL Metrics.


    Thanks for sharing. you can try this free web tool: and free source code web tools

  • David Westwood

    Hey, keyword tool is cool, however i prefer , ’cause it even suggests topic titles for my content when in “question only” mode. Have you tried it?

    • Reid Bandremer

      David, I hadn’t tried until today. Only fooled around for a few minutes, but I’m impressed so far – seems awesome if you want a lot of ideas fast. Love how it segments into categories and love the “only questions” feature too (I love learning the questions people ask – very useful). I’ll be using it more soon to see what I can do!

  • Pradip Ghatak

    Try this. One of the Best Website SEO analysis Tool for Better Google Ranking. It’s Free! Get better performance over 100 Key metrics, compare, better SEO and Social Media statistics.

  • kimberly

    Website authority checker tools –

  • Alvina

    My website bounce rate increase frequently. is there any issue in analytics.

  • Colin Boyd

    Hi Guys, give a go, it analyses the sites from a Google search so you can see why sites are where they are, including social signals and just about to add page load speed and mobile serp’s, also first few reports are free and free accounts can be gotten from our shout out programme

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